The debate on how long your web content should be lingers on. However, there seems to be an increased preference for longer posts especially for SEO content to improve Google rankings.
Does it mean that there is no room for shorter form content? Is it unacceptable to write 300 words articles?
There is no straight answer to the question of what content length is ideal. Many factors come into play including the purpose and type of content.
One of the main reasons you should invest in content marketing is to attract target customers to your website. The goal is to offer them valuable information that solves a problem they are facing or that interest them. In return, the audience grows to trust you as a source of information and also as a service or product provider.
Factors to consider when determining the right length for your content.
Here are factors to consider when deciding the appropriate word count:
1. Target audience
Ultimately, all the content you create is meant to meet the needs and interests of your target audience. Carry out thorough research to determine who your target audience as they will drive the type of content you create and how long the content should be.
For instance, professionals are more likely to read long-form industry-related content. However, a younger audience has shown to only skim through an article stopping to pay attention to the parts they think are of importance to them. Therefore, short-form is more appropriate for them.
2. Google ranking
Long-form content evidently ranks better on Google search engines. Google considers content under 200 words thin content.
In 2016, Medium realized that 7 minutes long articles (approximately 1600 words) has the highest readership and visibility on Google search engines. While there is no particular word count that has been determine to be the most precise, aim for 1200-2500 words per post to improve for better Google ranking.
3. Type of content
Traditionally, a blog post was seen as a short post highlighting key points about a given topic or narrating an individuals experience. The line between articles and blog posts has since blurred with blogs becoming rather impersonal and articles incorporating an informal approach.
When writing an article that covers in-depth information, write much as you can as long as you provide all the necessary information without being fluffy. Traditional blog posts should range at 600-700words but should not have fewer than 300 words.
EBooks are generally long-form content that may exceed 50,000 words. However, some do not exceed 3000 words. Buying guides should range between 1000-3000 words but should not exceed 5000 words.
Product descriptions are meant to precisely outline the key feature and their products. Ideally, they should be approximately 300 words. SEO content should range between 800-3000 words. Web pages should provide the important details concisely. A web page can have as little as 150 words or less but should not exceed 1000 words.
4. The platform the content will be published
In the last decade, there has been an exponential growth in smartphone usage across the globe which has made internet access easier and faster. At some point in 2017, Google reported that mobile searches had reached a tipping point where they were more than desktop. Although the statistics for mobile searches versus desktop searches are constantly fluctuating, it is evident that over 40% of all Google searches are done on mobile.
As a website owner, you must take the necessary measures to ensure that your content is accessible via mobile. Use responsive website designs and customize your website to create a user-friendly interface. Organize posts in short paragraphs, use heading and subheadings and bullets and numbers to make it easy to read and understand.
Pros and Cons of long-form vs. short-form content
• Are concise
• Easy and fast to read through
• Cheaper and faster to produce
• May leave out important information
• Less visible on search engine
• Offer in-depth information to the audience
• SEO ling form articles rank better and are more visible
• Allow more leeway for incorporating backlinks and internal links
• Increase the amount of time a visitor spends on your website, therefore, improving website performance
• More likely to deviate from the key idea
• Most people do not read through the entire article
• Takes a lot of time to produce
• Expensive to produce
• More likely to have fillers and fluff
There no one size fits all word count for your content. Gauge your audience, the type of content to determine what length would be ideal. If you are keen about google ranking, keep an eye on Google recommendations on word count. Incorporate a wide range of content length and keep an eye on your analytics to be able to determine the average length of posts that are performing well.